McCain, Graham heading to Egypt at president's request
July 30th, 2013
06:53 PM ET
10 years ago

McCain, Graham heading to Egypt at president's request

Washington (CNN) – Republican Sens. John McCain, R-Arizona, and Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, plan to go to Egypt at President Barack Obama’s request as soon as next week, Graham confirmed to CNN.

“We were talking to the president a week or two ago and he said if this continues to deteriorate, we are going to need to reinforce our message here, and he thought if it came from us it would be even more powerful,” Graham said.

Graham said the idea originally came from Secretary of State John Kerry, who thought it was important for military leaders to hear first-hand from members of Congress, especially members of the president’s political opposition, that key players in the U.S. are on the same page. Graham and McCain met several times with members of the Muslim Brotherhood in the past.

“They want it to be someone from the Congress, not just the executive branch, so we can make it real to them that Congress is not going to tolerate a military takeover and throwing everyone in jail,” Graham said.

He said their message will be that they “expect you to move to a democratically elected government sooner rather than later, and putting people in opposition in jail is not sustainable.”

READ MORE: U.S. opts not to define Egypt ouster as a coup

Graham said it is still unclear when they will go and who they will meet with in Egypt, but that’s being worked out by the State Department.

“This is the way it used to be. All hands on deck. We want it to be that way again,” Graham said, referring to international crises.

He also noted that McCain going to Egypt on the president’s behalf should be especially symbolic, since he is not just Republican senator but Obama’s former opponent for the White House.

“I think it really does demonstrate how democracy works. They didn’t put John McCain in jail so he could never come back again,” Graham said.

“He has been helpful and challenging,” Graham said of McCain’s actions towards Obama since the GOP presidential nominee lost to the then-senator from Illinois in 2008. “This is the way over time things can work.”

Filed under: Congress • Egypt • John McCain • Lindsey Graham
soundoff (37 Responses)
  1. Beech Mutton

    Good to see we are working out global problems and have all hands on deck. USA USA!!!

    July 30, 2013 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  2. Gurgyl

    On tax-peyer's money? Why??? Very pathetic. Jobs, jobs, jobs, where are these?

    July 30, 2013 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  3. Name

    I am an Egyptian American and I am proud of the PEOPLE (millions) who protested to oust Morsy. He was taking our gas and power and giving our Egypts resources to brotherhood elsewhere. Leave Egypt alone and support the majority people who have spoken to overthrow Morsy!!! The military has acted on behalf of the people therefore this is not a coup

    July 30, 2013 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  4. Len

    Yes, working together for all Americans. Now lets work together to help all Americans here at home.

    July 30, 2013 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  5. Name Phillip Igbi

    Excellent idea. Mccain says what is right and supports right course of action.

    July 30, 2013 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  6. John

    Best of luck then, Gentlemen. Yes we can unite.

    July 30, 2013 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  7. dave

    We must be united, not divided. Everybody must work together for the good of America. The tea parties' stance will blow this America to hell.

    July 30, 2013 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  8. Maria S Calef

    Stop to interfere with others countries internal affairs. What else Washington wants from their Sisi? The damage is done! Egypt people just have an election that it was not respected by Israel and Washington.

    July 30, 2013 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  9. truthserker

    "Blessed be Egypt my people " Isaiah. The word of God never Fails!

    July 30, 2013 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  10. Edward

    This shows weakness by Obama and Kerry. You are running the show, old McCain and his lap dog Graham are useless. Don't give them credibility that they don't deserve. A 5th grader has more common sense than these two who never saw a war they don't like. Finally Egyptians are aware how foreign policy work. They got us to give them $1.5 billion a year for life

    July 30, 2013 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  11. Kinard

    Two of the biggest do nothings, ever elected to office. And yet there they stand for the camera. Looks of determination, with the scowl of we're to be reckoned plastered on their faces. Wow! How much more can the American people take before waking up?

    July 30, 2013 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  12. Bill

    Very symbolic! Senator McCain going. Plus, our govt actually working together?! Wow!

    July 30, 2013 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  13. Farhan

    The first step should be calling things by their proper name. Military take over of the government is a coup. Wouldn't that be the case if it happened in the US? Parsing words is sometimes counterproductive as it sends the wrong signal to the culprit.
    The US must stand by its moral values for democracy and freedom collectively rather than selectively.

    July 30, 2013 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  14. ramiz

    Perfect way for President to get rid of republicans send them in war torn countrys as a pecemakers. That guy is a smart man.

    July 30, 2013 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  15. Larry in Houston

    Obama probably wants to get those 2 out of his hair for awhile.

    July 30, 2013 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  16. Michael Benjamin

    Isn't the State Department supposed to conduct the nation's foreign affairs? Here we have the Bobbsey Twins are at it again.

    July 30, 2013 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  17. robtemery

    When did Egypt become a US state? Why can't they take care of business at home. We have our share of the homeless, poor and political downtrodden.

    July 30, 2013 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  18. Thomas

    Please take Rubio and Paul with you , and leave him there .

    July 30, 2013 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  19. freddie nerk

    Waste of Taxpayers money. We should be sending even more money and weapons to the Egyptian army-they are the only ones fighting the Islamist extremists.

    July 30, 2013 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  20. Charles the Great

    Cool! I hope they have a positive affect on the people of Egypt. Freedom for all people (men, women and children of all beliefs). I wish I was going too....

    July 30, 2013 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  21. Joe Randall

    Thanks for working together. We need the talents and experience of each one of you.

    July 30, 2013 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  22. Shefter Laurent

    I wonder what republicans have to say about that!!! Obama's POWERFUL hand on McCain head... Amazing!

    July 30, 2013 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  23. Shefter Laurent

    Rick McDaniel, now you can stop your hate machine toward The First US BLACK President and US First Citizen cause you know he appointed a lot of repubs in his 2nd term. See Labor Board(3dems &2repubs out of 5members), FBI and so forth... Stop looking so dumb!

    July 30, 2013 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
  24. googie40

    Enough with the unjustified interventions. You are the last to talk about democracy and you are blocking all means of democracy. More than thirty million civilians gave general Sisi mandate to fight terrorism and you say putting them in jail is not sustainable?! These are not opposition, Some of them are terrorists and outlaws who raised the flag of Al Qaida and Jihadi while burned the Egyptian flags. If John Mccain was an ex felon or terrorist or even an ex con he wouldn't have made it to the elections in the first place. So the comparaison is "not sustainable".

    July 31, 2013 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  25. lala lolo

    I do not like and strongly disagree with senator McCain and Graham on many policies, especially when it comes to foreign policy. But I got to give credit when is due, and I will say that senator McCain does really care about his country and will almost always put it first before anything else (notice that I said almost all the time since he choose Palin as her VP candidate when she clearly was or is not ready for the job). And that in his own way he does what he think is better for the country, which is something that people who have liberals leaning should keep in mine about him as much as we disagree with him.

    July 31, 2013 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
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